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7/18/2005

COREY PATTERSON UPDATE/ANALYSIS

Corey has now played in 4 games for the Iowa Cubs. The good news: only 3 Ks. The bad news: no walks. He already has 2 homers. But is that good or bad? Is the goal for him to put up gaudy numbers down there or actually change his approach to become a successful player offensively? What we see in this small sample is what we saw when he was a regular in the minors. Corey can get away with hacking down there and still put up numbers because it's AAA.

I remember arguing a bit on Corey's behalf when a national writer had a column mentioning that his plate selection was bad and it would come back to roost. While I mostly agreed, I argued that if his average is high enough, it shouldn't be too big of a concern. After all, I figured that he would understand that the pitches out of the zone he cranked on for extra base hits in the minors would not be so easy to hit in the bigs. I figured wrong. He failed to adjust.

In his minor league career he had 99 BB and 265 K. In the bigs his totals are 104/517. That is huge. A big difference can be found in his batting average too. He hit .281 in the minors and his career major league average is only .257. My take is that he has remained the exact same player as he was in the minors. He never raised his game or changed his approach at the plate to accomodate the higher level of pitching and fielding in the bigs. That's evidenced by his unwillingness to bunt or use his speed to get infield hits and his self-admitted "long swing" in which he tried to pull everything--and pull it out of the park. He also believed he was good enough to hit any pitch and hit it hard--hence the low walk totals and the incessant hitting behind in the count. I know of only one player that can hit any pitch--ball or strike--hard and that's Vlad Guerrero. Corey is obviously not Vlad. I think Corey refused to believe his MLB numbers were a true indication of his skill. Apparently he thought he would just start hitting those bad pitches or it would just all come together. That's why it's so aggravating. Everything is there. But it looks like he will never reach his potential. Of course, they said that about Sosa too and one year he starts hitting to right field, working the count, drawing walks and getting his pitch to hit. Ahh, the dreaded potential...

1 comment:

BigD said...

I think the problem with Corey is that all he hears is the positive talk of his potential. He was drafted and escorted through the minors as a "five-tool" guy. I don't know him well enough to say he doesn't work hard at getting better. But mentally, he just does not seem to get it. He appears to sit back, keep doing what he's doing, and wait for his tools to catch up to him.

I thought it was interesting how he went to Baker and offered his services to leadoff. Good for him for stepping up, but his approach was the same as in the past. Why would the results be any different?

I think Patterson has seen the last of Wrigley in a Cub uniform. The pick up of Gerut shows the Cubs are looking to fill a defensive void in the outfield with some lefthanded pop. How long now before Pie comes to town?